Switching Careers? How to Become an IT Professional

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Switching Careers? How to Become an IT Professional

In case you are wondering: Switching careers, even at a later point in life, is not that unusual anymore. One reason for that is probably the fact that due to modern technologies, further education and training is far more readily available and accessible than it used to be.

Computer and information technology (IT) can be found everywhere, in our business as well as private lives. Therefore, the idea of putting their IT affinity to professional use does not seem a huge leap for many people.

switching careers

What to consider when it comes to switching careers to IT

  • Area of expertise: information technology is a vast field, so carefully consider which area you feel most at home, for example computer hardware and periphery, network design and administration, cyber and computer security, programming and coding.
  • Job market: Enter the respective keywords into search engines and job portals to get an idea about the corresponding job titles/descriptions as well as requirements for applicants.
  • Credentials/experience: Does your current job, professional training or past work experience provide you with any experience or credentials that you could apply towards a new career as an IT professional and would look good in your updated CV?
  • Professional training/practical experience: Depending on which kind of future position you have set your sights on, you might need to be able to present proper credentials, practical experience or both. While an internship might offer first practical experience, professional IT training and even certification will probably be your most important step towards switching careers to become an IT professional.

Education, training, and certification

There are various college programs available to help you achieve a degree in the field of information technology and related areas. When you consider switching careers though, you might not be in the position to invest that much time (and money) into your education and training. This is where IT certification courses come in. They allow you to achieve a professional, industry-acknowledged IT certification within a comparatively short period of time. For example, a TechSherpas Boot Camp Certification Course prepares you for a certification exam with a time investment of just a few days. TechSherpas also offers you virtual learning solutions and learning on-demand, so that you can get educated and achieve your first certification without having to quit your current job. It also allows you to get a deeper knowledge and familiarize yourself with the work of an IT professional before having to make any major career-changing decisions.

Many open IT positions do not require an IT college degree, and with the TechSherpas learning solutions you can quickly achieve industry-recognized credentials and work on making your dream of switching careers a reality. To learn more about these available opportunities, have a look at our blog post “3 of the Best Entry Level IT Certifications to Boost Your Career”.


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3 In-Demand Technology Jobs and How to Qualify for Them

Are you looking for a job in the field of technology? Do you want to learn more about the qualifications and career options regarding technology jobs? There is a high demand in skilled people to fill IT- and tech-related positions. Considering the constantly evolving technologies, it is unlikely that this demand will change in the nearer future.

technology jobs

So, what are the in-demand tech jobs, and what kind of qualification do you need to get them?

Software Developer/Engineer

Computers run with various kinds of software/computer programs. These can be standard commercial products or highly specialized with customized programs to meet the exact needs of the user. Some corporations even have their own proprietary software, with which they organize their processes.

The development, design, maintenance, and testing of these programs is the domain of software engineers and developers.

There are various college programs in computer science and software engineering available at the undergraduate as well as advanced levels, such as Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSE).

Systems Administrator/Engineer, Network Administrator/Engineer

Especially larger organizations do not simply use single computers for their operation, but entire information technology systems. Administrators are usually occupied with the day-to-day running and maintenance of the computer systems/networks. The tasks for a systems engineer rely mostly in the organization and planning of the network infrastructure.

The typical entry level education is a Bachelor’s degree, but there are also special certification programs, such as the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP).

Web Developer

Web Developers build, design, implement and maintain an organizations websites and create or integrate back-end applications by using programming languages such as HTML, CSS, Javascript and XML. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical entry level degree is an Associate’s degree.

Further Technology Jobs Qualification Options and Information

Many tech careers provide options to work either as an employee or independent contractor. Depending on which state you work in, there are regulations for the use of certain professional terms and job titles.  Example: As an “Engineer” (like “Software Engineer”, “Computer Hardware Engineer” etc.) you might need to obtain a license.

It is not necessary to have an IT-related college degree to secure a job in the growing industry of technology. There are also degrees in other fields like mathematics, statistics, and more, that serve as basic qualification for an IT job. With such a degree, your best option is to combine it with additional IT-relevant certifications. These are not only available at colleges, but also via commercial providers.

We at Techsherpas offer you a variety of IT certification training, including on-demand learning solutions.









Does your organization have a Corporate Training / Skills Development Strategy?

As the workforce continues to evolve with the economic conditions, capitalism has faded and talentism has begun to resonate within companies nationwide. This shift emerged as companies continued to struggle to stay ahead through the down economy, where it matters less if companies can access the capitalism they need and more on their ability to attract and retain the talent that drives success. The US Department of Labor estimates that in the 21st century, 60 percent of all new jobs will require skills possessed by only 20 percent of the workforce – that’s a pretty significant talent gap. Talent is a key factor in achieving a competitive advantage, and the reality is that talent is also a scarce resource, specifically when it comes to technological skills. With this shift, companies need to reevaluate their business strategies and ensure that a talent strategy is in place. One that attracts, retains, and develops talent. They can have a strategy that includes hiring talent, and/or hiring and then providing corporate training and personal development to build talent. Both strategies have proven to be successful.

The benefits of Corporate Training & Personal Development
Studies have shown there is a significant link between high engagement and personal development. There are several reasons why organizations should encourage and provide personal development and skills training for their employees.

Encouraging personal growth leads to employee motivation and retention
Training can give your organization a competitive edge
Increase Employee Performance
According to the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), supervisors who are effective at developing people can increase employee:

Performance by up to 25 percent
Engagement by up to 29 percent
Retention by up to 410 percent
Skill Development, through training and certification, is one way companies can encourage improvement and development of their employees, who are the driving forces behind business success.

Embrace technology to create a strong talented workforce
Technology should not be feared and avoided, but rather embraced and utilized. Use it to strengthen your talent strategy. Use it to maximize your resources.

In a recent article by Marty Nowlin (Riding the Technology Wave), he discusses how companies need to embrace technology, confront changes head on, and align it with the right talent strategy. He lays out 6 steps that can be taken to maximize the opportunity that technology presents:

Use technology to discover untapped potential – Use it to reach and work with people from all over the world. The talent you need may not always be in your backyard. Through technological advances you can reach the talented people you need, no matter where they are located!
Use technology to make training more effective – Again, with the advancements in technology, training can be done more effectively and efficiently, saving time and money. When training can take place remotely from the office, from an employee’s work stations, they can transfer knowledge more easily and apply it on the spot. Remote connectivity has provided significant enhancements to the training industry. It allows people to connect to the office and with each other without physical presence. With Remote Classroom Instruction (RCI), people can train from anywhere – home, office, etc. – saving time and money. Read more about Remote Classroom Instruction (RCI) here.
Work or train virtually.
Work or train virtually.
Use Technology as a “one-size-fits-one” approach – One of the great things about technology is that it has evolved in such a way that it can really be personalized to fit a person’s or company’s specific needs. One example – a company can create a menu of training classes that their staff can select from based on their specific job roles and functions.
Use specific technologies to optimize productivity – Technology can provide companies with a competitive advantage by utilizing specific software tools that will “lean-out” business processes and create efficiency. Software selection is typically based on the business operations, type of clients, location of their clients, and other offices, etc. Some examples include:Teleconferencing; Mobile Platforms and applications; Big Data; and Social Networking.
Retain employees by using technology as the facilitator for flexible working – Get the talent you want by giving them the opportunity to have a flexible work schedule and work environment. Technology allows people to work from home, in another state, or other public locations – not the typical work station. Opportunities like this can be very appealing and a strategy in attracting top talent.
Take advantage of easy access to information but carefully balance how to use it – Technology gives us access to a plethora of public knowledge, especially through the social networks. Use it to find information about the talent you seek, but be careful as to violate one’s privacy.
Does your company encourage personal or professional growth?
If an organization places high importance on skill development and values employee development, then employees will believe it’s important for their own success. That is why businesses should offer corporate training and personal development. Find out of your company had a skill development strategy or plan in place. If they do, how has it helped you advance in your career and grow personally and/professionally?